A Big City Without A Newspaper

As bankruptcy hearings for two newspapers in Philadelphia unfold, this piece looks at the state of newspapers in cities and wonders what will happen when a big American city loses its newspaper.
August 11, 2009, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Bankruptcy proceedings in which the parties do not amicably come together on terms for restructuring debt are fluid and unpredictable. The Philadelphia newspaper case has been particularly rancorous. A possibility exists, probably remote at this point, that the papers could just fold, making Philadelphia the winner of a dubious sweepstakes: first major American city to be left without a daily newspaper. Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation, which finances journalistic innovation, told me, 'It's going to happen somewhere.'"

This article also probes into the mind of Brian Tierney, the leader of the ownership group that has gone deep into debt to try to save The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News. He sees the papers as a "public trust".

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Published on Thursday, August 6, 2009 in The New York Times
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